It’s Not What You Think
An instrumental conversation with Chad Shivers from Sorry No Ferrari
By Tom Cheshire Published October 10, 2010
Dry Ink speaks with Chad Shivers from Sorry No Ferrari and no, they didn’t get their name from Magnum PI. It messed me up, too… if I was a bettin’ man, damn! Either way, he had fun and we had fun. Four on the floor and we’re out. Tight white shorts, Marietta Tube Tops and wearing something that is red hot.
Dry Ink: How long has Sorry No Ferrari been in business? When did you start the band?
Chad Shivers: Drew and I started the band in August 2004. Brett joined in 2005, J.B. in 2008, and we just recently added a fifth member, Nick. It’s hard to believe it’s been over six years.
DI: Please introduce everyone in the band, by that I mean, names and their roles.
CS: Jonathan “J.B.” Balsamo plays drums, Brett Kelly guitar, Drew Mobley bass, Nick Pantano keys/guitar/percussion, and I play baritone guitar.
DI: How did the name come about?
CS: That’s a little embarrassing, but here it goes. Before school I used to watch reruns of Saved By The Bell. In one episode Zack wants to go on a ski trip, but Belding wants to meet his father to talk about his failing grades first. Fearing his father won’t let him attend, he hires an actor, also a waiter at The Max, to play his father to meet Belding, and Belding to meet his father. While meeting Mr. Morris, the actor suggests that Zack is doing so well in school he should buy him a car. Zack asks “A Ferrari?” and both the actor and Mr. Morris reply, “Sorry, no Ferrari.” I really liked how it sounded and now, six years later, we still haven’t come up with a better name.
DI: Do you think the folks at Lamborghini ever get jealous?
CS: Without a doubt. Their marketing people are probably trying to coax some poor indie band into using their brand as we speak.
DI: You have 2 records under your belt. Any plans to put out another?
CS: Funny you should ask, Tom. Our first full length record Ternary will be out October 23rd on Stickfigure Records. We’ll be playing our CD release at the Drunken Unicorn that date with From Exile and Hello Ocho and cover includes a free CD. It’s taken a long time to make, and we’re very proud of it.
DI: Will you tour to support it and where to?
CS: Yes, but unfortunately it won’t be until sometime next year. We will most likely tour the east coast and midwest. In the meantime we are trying to do as many regional shows as possible to promote the album. We’re all very anxious to get back out on the road, as it’s been quite a while.
DI: Have you ever thought about being sponsored by Ferrari and touring in a Ferrari with a trailer on the back? It would be uncomfortable but would attract some attention I am sure.
CS: We have not been active in pursuing a sponsorship, no. In fact, Brett and I are a little concerned Ferrari will summons us for trademark violation and have our matching Ferrari tattoos lasered off.
DI: Did you ever think about calling yourselves “Sorry No Fiero?”
DI: You are an instrumental band. Do you ever have the urge to throw a lyric in or even do some screams or grunts? I can hear it because some of the songs are abrasive.
CS: When we first started I sang but it was so sparse we decided to just keep it instrumental. We have since discussed adding some singing, maybe some group vocals, and we’re not necessarily opposed to adding a singer. They would just have to be the right fit for us.
DI: Who are your influences as a band?
CS: All of us come from such different backgrounds so there are many. I’d say anything progressive, really whether it be metal or pop music. Some bands that we all listen to include Yes, Minus the Bear, Mastodon, Anathallo, and Mew, just to name a few. Brett and I are also classical guitarists, which has had a profound impact on our playing and style.
DI:And what have you been listening to lately? I am always intrigued by what artists and musicians listen to.
CS: I have been on a big surf kick this year. There have been a few surf shows in ATL recently like Man…or Astro-man?, the Madiera, and Daikaiju that were truly inspiring.
DI: What do you do to support your music? Do you have a day job?
CS: Brett, Nick, and I are all guitar instructors, actually. I really enjoy what I do and couldn’t imagine doing much else.
DI: Have you ever thought about having a song called “Tom Selleck” or maybe try to have him in a video? I know, now I’m getting plain silly.
CS: No. Why, have you? Maybe we could collaborate on a storyboard and see if we can’t make it happen.
DI: I understand you have been moonlighting as one of the “Bicycle Eaters” playing with Jeffrey Butzer. How has that been going and how is it different than SNF?
CS: First, let me say that other members of SNF have some great projects as well. J.B. is in Light Pupil Dilate and Brett plays drums for Tealights. As far as the Bicycle Eaters, that has been going very well and I’m really honored that Jeff has let me play music with him. It’s quite a bit different in that Jeffrey writes everything and we add our textures later, whereas in Sorry no Ferrari, we all write together. Finding aural space is somewhat of a challenge because he generally takes care of melody with his right hand, chords with his left, and Paul plays the bass lines. Usually, I just try to write counter melodies. It also let’s me experiment with some surf-like guitar.
DI: What is next for Sorry No Ferrari? Short term then long term goals, etc.
CS: We have a lot of cool stuff coming up. We plan on doing a set for indieATL which is a video podcast, an interview with Album 88 (WRAS 88.5), an in-store performance at Criminal, playing KSU’s Owl Radio (online), and hopefully playing in Athens in November with our good friends Helmsman. Long term we plan to tour in early 2011, write some new material, and record within the next year or so.
DI: How can the kids find your music?
CS: They can check out our myspace page at myspace.com/sorrynoferrari. Our album will be available at stickfigurerecords.com, neighborhood record stores such as Criminal, and for download from iTunes.
DI: And when will you be playing in Atlanta so we can come check you out?
CS: Please come to our CD release show at the Drunken Unicorn October 23rd with From Exile and Hello Ocho.
DI: Thank you so much for your time, speed on.